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help deciding on 7 day family vacation with grown kids

help deciding on 7 day family vacation with grown kids

May 22nd, 2019, 07:56 AM
  #1  
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help deciding on 7 day family vacation with grown kids

Help deciding on 7 day family vacation with grown kidsHi All,
Im really struggling on this vacation. We're a family of 4 and are locked into June 26th - July 3rd. My kids are now working so we like to take a family vacation 2x a year so we get to be together. We love the beach, cute towns and restaurants, love to walk and bike. We're city people so we haven't really hiked. We are not interested in amusement parks or shopping malls or party towns. We prefer airbnb's to hotels. Would like to have a home base, rent a car and travel around to see other towns, beaches and nature.
We usually vacation in beach towns in Mexico but its rainy season now, so we were thinking of California. We don't like anything fancy either although we like a really nice place to stay. Budget $300-425
When the kids were young we did the drive from San Fran to San Diego. Stayed at SF, Cambria, Carmel, La Jolla and LA.. We were considering a similar trip because honestly it was so long ago we don't remember it, but I thought it would be easier now with such a short time to plan to pick a home base ( or two home bases with 3-4 nights in each one) and take day trips. Actually 2 airbnbs would be ideal, because with such short notice it will be practically impossible to find the same place for so many nights and it might also be nice to change. We were considering San Diego and on one post I saw that the mission beach, pacific beach was recommended but then on another that it was a bit noisy and not everyone's cup of tea.
Also, jotted down Carlsbad, Encinitas, Carpintereria, Balboa Island, Laguna beach, Newport Beach, Santa Barbara, Cayucos, La Jolla from scrolling the posts. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We are flexible to fly in out of SF, LA or even San Diego is we need to
lasagna is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 08:02 AM
  #2  
 
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I don't know with specifics. Unless folks are arriving by car, I think it is wonderful if you are in a place that is walkable.
Bitter is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 08:18 AM
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I would pick the Monterey Bay area - anywhere from Santa Cruz to Carmel, because of the high density of things to see and do in the region. Google these places -

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
National Steinbeck Center
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Cannery Row
Carmel Spanish mission
Point Lobos State Park
Big Sur coast
Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery
Hearst Castle

These are all within a morning's drive of each other (or in some cases much less) and every one is spectacular. IMO you just can't go wrong. Fly into SFO or San Jose (SJC.)
Gardyloo is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 09:45 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
I would pick the Monterey Bay area - anywhere from Santa Cruz to Carmel, because of the high density of things to see and do in the region. Google these places -

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
National Steinbeck Center
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Cannery Row
Carmel Spanish mission
Point Lobos State Park
Big Sur coast
Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery
Hearst Castle

These are all within a morning's drive of each other (or in some cases much less) and every one is spectacular. IMO you just can't go wrong. Fly into SFO or San Jose (SJC.)
thank you very much for your suggestion. I know a few of those places from our trip many years ago and will google the others. Iím still a little worried though where to get an Airbnb that will be a cute walkable town with lots of restaurants etc.
lasagna is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 10:14 AM
  #5  
 
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For accommodations I'd look at Carmel, Monterey and Pacific Grove. A quick scan on VRBO showed numerous options for your dates.
Gardyloo is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 10:33 AM
  #6  
 
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I agree the Monterey Bay area would be perfect for you.

>>I'd look at Carmel, Monterey and Pacific Grove.<<

Short term rentals would only be legal in Pacific Grove and AFAIK Carmel Valley (not in Carmel)-- the rest of the Monterey Peninsula they are not allowed so it would have to be hotels, not airbnb.

You could also look in Capitola, Aptos, Pajaro Dunes and Santa Cruz.
janisj is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 12:10 PM
  #7  
 
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Yep, janis is right, many communities have enacted bans or restrictions on short term rentals (being listed on AirBnB or VRBO means nothing, they do not vet listings) including Monterey and Carmel.
The same applies to Laguna Beach and Santa Barbara among others.
jamie99 is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 12:16 PM
  #8  
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Thanks gardyloo. Will look into those places.
Thinking now though my kids (25 and 26) might like the vibe of Southern California or places with more happening. I stayed overnight in Carmel years ago and found it expensive and honestly didnít love it. I think it was a little fancy for us. We had visited the aquarium in Monterey and I remember thinking the town seemed a bit commercial. Maybe itís because we didnít spend enough time or because we had lunch at bubba gumps
We would like a home base with some activity. Restaurants, cool coffee shops, art or music scene would be a bonus.
We only spent a few hours in Sausalito but remember it kind of like that.
lasagna is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 12:25 PM
  #9  
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Just seeing this now about the Airbnbís. Not sure I completely understand.
There are hundreds of listings in these areas and most of them are fully booked for summer. How can Airbnb allow these bookings then if itís illegal?

Hotels for us are pretty much out of our budget with 2 rooms needed in high season. Might have to rethink the trip then. Was considering a Seattle/ Portland or just Seattle at one point but thought it might not be as relaxing as we were hoping for.
lasagna is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 12:50 PM
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We are especially familiar with Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Balboa Island. Have visited the Monterey area many times. Prefer the southern CA areas.

The small Orange County airport is great, if airfares are good. Much easier than LAX.

Balboa Island has the cutest little rental bungalows. Iím not sure of their prices, though, itís an adorable little place. Most expensive rentals have little docks. Would have minimum stay requirements.

If youíre interested, Iím happy to help with more specific questions about southern CA.


MoBro is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 02:19 PM
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>> We are especially familiar with Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Balboa Island. Have visited the Monterey area many times. Prefer the southern CA areas. <<

Laguna/Newport/Balboa Island is entirely different from Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur. The former is volleyball on the beach, sunshine, bike riding, sunbathing, and crowded beaches. The later is unbelievable scenic coastline, cooler water temps, more interesting villages, isolated beach coves, Redwood trees, fog in the summer, and fewer people. I grew up near the former, got married in 1971 and lived on PCH in Laguna Beach and also next to Mc Faddens Wharf in Newport Beach. Since 1975, we've lived near San Francisco & have spent a whole lot of time exploring Carmel, Pt Lobos, & the Big Sur coast. We much prefer the Norther Calif area.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 02:41 PM
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>>Just seeing this now about the Airbnb’s. Not sure I completely understand.
There are hundreds of listings in these areas and most of them are fully booked for summer. How can Airbnb allow these bookings then if it’s illegal? <<

Because airbnb doesn't care. They also have listings in NYC, Paris, Amsterdam and many other places where almost ALL vacation rentals are illegal. Profit is their only concern.

The towns I listed allow short term rentals (Capitola only in certain neighborhoods) - and any of them would be great places to stay. Look at Pajaro Dunes . . .
janisj is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 04:18 PM
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Short-term rentals (less than a month) aren't legal in Pacific Grove anymore.
Jean is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
Short-term rentals (less than a month) aren't legal in Pacific Grove anymore.

Oh -- good to know -- I'll add that to my list . . . Is Carmel Valley still OK - and other unincorporated parts of the county???

I know the other end of the Bay (Santa Cruz through Pajaro) are OK. There are restrictions in Capitola/Aptos/Seacliff Beach but there are still legal properties.
janisj is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 07:04 PM
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I don't know, janisj. For several years, we rented houses in Pacific Grove for a week or two around Car Week. When that was no longer an option, we reevaluated how much we were enjoying our time there during the hoopla and decided to go less frequently, for less time, and splurge on lodging when we do. So I stopped looking...

AFAIK, Salinas has no regulations on STRs. Seaside just requires a license and payment of occupancy tax, but compliance is apparently spotty and the town is cracking down, collecting back taxes, looking at other penalties (revoking license?). Del Rey Oaks (near the airport) is apparently very permissive. I'm not sure if Marina ever made up its mind whether rentals had to be hosted or not. I think this is an issue that you have to keep checking the status to see if things have changed.
Jean is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 07:09 PM
  #16  
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Looks like I have a lot of work to do Im going to look at all options. I am back considering the northern coast too. Thanks for all the great comments. I am concerned though about the lack of airbnbs in the Monterrey region. Does anyone have recommendations for reasonable nice hotels for 4 adults?
lasagna is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 07:41 PM
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>>Does anyone have recommendations for reasonable nice hotels for 4 adults?<<

What do you consider 'reasonable'. - what's your budget?

The towns I listed (Capitola/Aptos/Parajo Dunes) would be great places to stay and convenient to both ends of the Bay -- from Santa Cruz and the boardwalk to Carmel and Point Lobos. (airbnb has helped a lot of people travel cheaply - but they have become the gorilla in the room and more and more towns are banning short term rentals because of the explosion of properties turned into unofficial 'hotels'. It may be unintended but hey have spoiled things for a lot of people)


>>AFAIK, Salinas has no regulations on STRs. <<

Wouldn't Salinas have to pay people to stay there (except for fans of Steinbeck and Live PD)
janisj is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 09:07 PM
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Different strokes, Stu.
MoBro is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 11:44 PM
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So reading your posts, it sounds like you're interested in California.

So we've stayed in Thousand Trails. They have two bedroom cabins, including linens and towels. The Santa Barbara location, called Rancho Oso, one is supposed to be in a beautiful setting in the mountains and you can pay to go horseback riding as one of the options. It is available for the Sunday-Wednesday part of your dates and is well less than the $300/night pricetag you listed at $187/night.

https://www.thousandtrails.com/calif...resort/rentals
5alive is offline  
May 23rd, 2019, 07:36 AM
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janisj, believe me, during Car Week some people stay in Salinas!
Jean is offline  

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